The sanctity of life.

This story and the thousands of negative comments in response to it really upset and confounded me:

By AMANDA LEE MYERS | Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — The mother of a 19-year-old man fatally shot in the back by a U.S. Border Patrol agent has sued the federal government and the agent himself, claiming it was “an appalling use of excessive force” because her son was unarmed, had his back to the agent and posed no threat.

Guadalupe Guerrero said Monday that the Border Patrol had no right to take her son’s life, even if he had marijuana in his truck as they say — though she disputed the allegation.

A Border Patrol agent identified by police as Lucas Tidwell shot Carlos La Madrid three times — twice in the back and once in the thigh — as he climbed a ladder on the U.S.-Mexico border fence in southeastern Arizona on March 21, 2011.

The Arizona man, who did not have a weapon, fell to the ground and died about five hours later at a hospital.

“Why did they kill him? Who are they to play God?” Guerrero said in Spanish on what would have been her son’s 21st birthday…

I couldn’t find even one sympathetic comment for a mother who tragically lost a child. This sad tale has lots of red meat for conservatives: The border, the drugs, Spanish as a first language, and a lawsuit. Apparently in this Christian Nation it’s okay for law enforcement to shoot an unarmed suspect in the back.

Just like the Trayvon Martin tragedy, Family Values Pro-Life Christians support the taking of a human life. I’ve tried to understand the blood-lust of these people. I just can’t reconcile how these people steadfastly believe in the sanctity of life for the  unborn, yet have no compassion once that life emerges from the womb.

Infallibility.

First the facts.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed a bill into law Wednesday that abolishes the death penalty, making his state the 17th in the nation to abandon capital punishment and the fifth in five years to usher in a repeal.

During a Sept. 2011 Republican presidential debate NBC’s Brian Williams asked Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) a question about the death penalty and pointed to the 234 executions during his watch, and even before Perry answered, the Republican debate crowd erupted in applause for the governor’s actions.

Since the death penalty moratorium ended January 17, 1977 African Americans made up 41 percent of death row inmates in Texas while making up only 12 percent of the state’s general population.

According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, since the re-institution of the death penalty, 142 innocent prisoners have been exonerated from the death row. (No. 142, Robert Dewey from Colorado, was exonerated on April 30, 2012.) It is unknown how many of the people executed since 1976 may have been innocent, but some of them were executed although there was considerable doubt about their guilt, e.g. Cameron Willingham (2004) and Troy Davis (2011).

Now the opinion.

When God told Moses “a life for a life”, there was exactly one person who judged an individual’s guilt or innocence. That person’s name was, you guessed it, Moses. Since he was imbued with the perfect Spirit of Jehovah, there was a 100% certainty that every single verdict decided by God’s messenger was correct. In today’s world, where only a handful of nations still have the death penalty on the books, the legal system isn’t quite so infallible.

Sure, there’s the question of humaneness. I find that issue to be of lesser importance, but distinct from, the human error argument. And I understand there’s a chance my opposition to the death penalty might be wrong. After all, I’m only human.

The failure of success.

Okay, forget that Mubarak, Gaddafi and bin Laden are gone; it’s easy to do if your name is Mitt Romney. He’s still on that “Apology Tour” kick. So it’s left largely to other republicans to throw dirt at the Commander in Chief over some of his other key foreign affairs wins.

See, The New York Times reported that the President has a “Kill List”. This is obviously the first time in American history such a dastardly thing has been done. And you know that Stuxnet computer virus? The weapon as technologically significant as the H bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima? Turns out stopping the Iranians from blasting Israel into the stone-age isn’t nearly as important as finding out who spilled the beans to the press.

I seem to recall the Bush Administration strutting their stuff at every opportunity that they pulled off another victory of some kind in the War on Terror. There was always a lot of high-fiving and chest-beating, but that’s about all.

Obama’s foes around the world aren’t nearly as smart as his foes at home. His enemies abroad burn him in effigy whenever things go wrong. Here, they do it when things go right.

Caveman politics.

To comprehend our present predicament, I believe the only way to move forward is to look at our past. I’m not talking a year ago, or a decade, or even a century. I’m talking waaay back.

Humans have always perceived reality through a sort of political looking-glass. In order to make sense of things, a person’s heart and mind must be in agreement.

We’re back in the stone-age, as a small band of hunter-gatherers stumble upon a watering hole. This little group is now in possession of something more precious than gold. Life is wonderful for a while, till that fateful day when another group of cave-dwellers spot the creek.

The first instinct is to fight to the death for the sole right to the water. Let’s say our original small band of warriors wins, but half the group dies in the battle. Time passes, and another group of outsiders show up at the creek. This time our prehistoric friends are divided.

They can’t just let the enemy take what’s theirs; but how many more men can they afford to lose? Two camps arise: one advocating to fight like the last time, the other wanting to share the water with the intruders. This is the birth of politics. Conservatives/Republicans/Nazis wanting to hold on to what is theirs no matter what; and Liberals/Democrats/Communists wanting to “share the wealth”.

So, which side is right?

Wrong question. It’s not a matter of right versus wrong. It’s a matter of winning or losing. And as Solomon so keenly observed, there’s a time when the conservative way is best suited for the situation at hand; and there’s a time when the liberal approach makes more sense.

Our great nation has been on a conservative course since Day One of the Reagan Revolution. I may be in the minority but I’m convinced it’s time for a liberal awakening.